GRAPHIC NOVEL

Guts

Scholastic/Graphix. Sept. 2019. 224p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780545852517; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780545852500. .
COPY ISBN
 Gr 3-6–Telgemeier presents a new story from her childhood, which takes place when she was in the fourth and fifth grades. After her little sister brought home a case of stomach flu, young Raina woke up one night with an upset stomach and had to vomit. Then a boy in her class was made fun of for throwing up at school, and Raina worried about getting sick again. Her anxiety only led to more stomach troubles, and she also dealt with a school bully and a friend moving away. Raina’s parents stayed supportive throughout, and they got her into therapy; eventually, she was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. The subject matter is conveyed realistically but with humor—anxiety can be taken seriously, and farts can still be funny. Telgemeier’s art is incredibly expressive, and the green circles that surround Raina will have readers feeling nauseous along with her as her panic intensifies. Especially important is a scene in which Raina’s therapist talks her through a grounding technique and deep breathing exercise, giving readers a coping technique that they can use. ­
VERDICT A must. Fans of Smile and Sisters will adore this new story starring Raina and her ­family, but newcomers to Telgemeier’s work will also love Guts

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